Friday, June 12, 2009

Happy-Go-Lucky. B+

I was dubious about the title of Mike Leigh's new film, and the fact that I liked it has nothing to do with an unexpected surprise in the narrative. Indeed, this movie is about as happy-go-lucky as movies get, thanks to the protagonist, Poppy, played by Sally Hawkins. No, the reason the movie worked so well is because of Hawkins' performance. I thought her feel-good outlook on life would be coupled with a slightly vexatious attitude on her part. But it turns out she is just sincere enough at just the right moments in the movie, and she really only became irksome when she giggled. There isn't really a big plot in the film. Rather, it gives us the life of an extremely positive person, and how the people around her react to her. Poppy isn't faced with any major decisions or changes she has to make, though her driving teacher Scott, played nicely by Eddie Marsan, gives her a bit of a lesson at the end. The movie might have been a little long. There are unnecessary scenes, such as Poppy's encounter with a bum. Also, I didn't really like Poppy as a person. I think it was because I, nor anyone else really, could relate to her. But overall, though not a classic, 'Happy-Go-Lucky' is a sweet and tender piece of work, and every bit as good as what we would come to expect from a Mike Leigh film.

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